Auburn Heresy???

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Mary

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi Everyone,

In a separate forum, something was mentioned about the "Auburn Heresy" within the OPC. Could somebody please explain to me what that is and if I would be making a big mistake in checking out an OPC in my area? There are no PCA or RBC's in metro Detroit, just a couple of OPC's and a RPC.

Alphabet soup, anyone?

I would really appreciate a definition and some opinions.

Thank you,

Mary
 

BobVigneault

Bawberator
We're all this side of heaven Mary.

Where's the emoticon for a can of worms?

(and we were getting along so well) :p
 

wsw201

Puritan Board Senior
[quote:2a6cd628e0][i:2a6cd628e0]Originally posted by Mary[/i:2a6cd628e0]
Hi Everyone,

In a separate forum, something was mentioned about the "Auburn Heresy" within the OPC. Could somebody please explain to me what that is and if I would be making a big mistake in checking out an OPC in my area? There are no PCA or RBC's in metro Detroit, just a couple of OPC's and a RPC.

Alphabet soup, anyone?

I would really appreciate a definition and some opinions.

Thank you,

Mary [/quote:2a6cd628e0]

Mary,

You would not be making a mistake checking out OPC churches in your area. The Auburn Heresy (nowadays referred to as the Federal Vision) is not that widespread and in fact you would probably be hard pressed to find anyone who really knows that much about it. The primary people involved are Steve Schissel of Messiah Congregation in New York, John Barach of the Canadian Refomed Church, Doug Wilson of Christ Kirk in Moscow Idaho and Steve Wilkins of Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church in Monroe La.

These men and those who have been influenced by the Federal Vision are hardly monolithic in their views, but an underlying theme appears to be a reliance on the theology of Norm Shepherd and the New Perspective on Paul theology (NT Wright, EP Sanders).

You might want to do a search on this board as there have been a number of threads on this issue plus there is tons of stuff on the Web discussing these issues. If you really want to dig into the Federal Vision, you might want to go to the Knox Seminary web site. They held a colloquy between the above mentioned men and those who have serious prolems with their views, such as Morton Smith and Joe Pipa of Greenville Presbyterian. Theological Seminary. The colloquy is now a book that you can order from Knox at their site.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
[quote:da67c53104][i:da67c53104]Originally posted by Mary[/i:da67c53104]
Hi Everyone,

In a separate forum, something was mentioned about the "Auburn Heresy" within the OPC. Could somebody please explain to me what that is and if I would be making a big mistake in checking out an OPC in my area? There are no PCA or RBC's in metro Detroit, just a couple of OPC's and a RPC.

Alphabet soup, anyone?

I would really appreciate a definition and some opinions.

Thank you,

Mary [/quote:da67c53104]

Mary,

If we assume that the Federal Vision theology (also called the Auburn Ave. theology, the Auburn 4 and other titles) is at best problematic and confusing and at worst heretical:

First, it would be a mistake to think that the entire OPC (or PCA) for that matter is "lost" or "tainted." The vast majority (at least for now) of PCA and OPC churches are teaching the Biblical doctrine of justification as expounded in WCF 11.

Second, one [i:da67c53104]could[/i:da67c53104] argue that Federal Vision theology (and its step-sisters) is more prominent in the PCA, CRC and URC. {And I am a PCA elder, so this is not a knee-jerk defense of the OPC}

Third, I am for the most part very aware of the state of the OPC in metro-Detroit, and none of those churches are current unorthodox.

Where exactly are you? What are the choices you are looking at? There are good OPC works there; there is also a good PCA work in Fenton, and one that is in progress in the downriver area.

There is also a very good RPCNA work in Southfield (I think) .

If you give me some more information, I could probably (at best) steer you in the right direction and (at worst) put you in touch with someone in Detroit who can help.

God bless
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Mary...

There is also an older connotation of "Auburn Heresy", that may be referred to.

The Auburn Heresy can also be applied to those men in the PCUSA who signed the Auburn Affirmation in 1924. This affirmation basically says that it is not necessary to affirm the inerrancy of Scripture, the virgin birth, the sacraficial atonement of Christ, the bodily resurrection of Christ and other miracles performed in the Scripture, and the physical return of Christ.

There were those in the PCUSA who wanted to ensure that all ordained ministers upheld the 5 tenets above. Those who signed the Auburn Affirmation tried to undermine that (and did succeed eventually), which led to the forming of the OPC after the liberals took over the PCUSA. It was the impetus for J. Gresham Machen to write "Christianity and Liberalism." I would recommend that work, heartily.

So, depending on context, the Auburn Affirmation may be that which is spoken of as the Auburn Heresy.

In Christ,

KC
 

Mary

Puritan Board Freshman
Bee,

Is what the fellows are talking about what is going on in the church you were thinking of attending? I don't mean to be nosy, and I hope I'm not putting you on the spot. The word "heresy" tends to freak me out just a little bit. :biggrin:

The last thing I want to do is go to ANOTHER new church and run the gauntlet only to find out that there is major doctrinal error there too.

It is a long and winding road to the Truth, and sometimes I feel as though I am hopelessly lost. But I just keep on plodding along. Eventually it will mostly make sense, right?
 

sailorswife

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi Mary,

My advice to you would be to study up on the Auburn Ave (federal Vision), Norman Shepherd, and New Persepective on Paul teachings to find out more about them. The problem with a lot of the people that hold to these teachings is that they are not clear with their definitions (about justification, etc....) and say they hold to the confessions when they really do not when you work out their theology. Once you have studied up then you could possible call or email the pastors of the OPC's in your area and either ask them out right if they approve of these teachings or what they believe justification is. You should be able to get the email's and or numbers off the OPC's website. Maybe some others on the board could give you ideas on other questions to ask too. There are still many good OPC's out there but you do need to be careful...

Anne
 

Mary

Puritan Board Freshman
[quote:86800fe419]
Steve Schissel of Messiah Congregation in New York, John Barach of the Canadian Refomed Church, Doug Wilson of Christ Kirk in Moscow Idaho and Steve Wilkins of Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church in Monroe La.
[/quote:86800fe419]

Wayne, is that the Doug Wilson of the Credenda Agenda website?


[quote:86800fe419]
Third, I am for the most part very aware of the state of the OPC in metro-Detroit, and none of those churches are current unorthodox.
[/quote:86800fe419]


[quote:86800fe419]
If you give me some more information, I could probably (at best) steer you in the right direction and (at worst) put you in touch with someone in Detroit who can help.
[/quote:86800fe419]

Fred, that is very nice of you! I am living in Grosse Pointe, and working in Southfield. I found the OPC website - I was looking at Providence OPC in Royal Oak, and also Oakland Hills OPC in Farmington Hills (that one is a little far). I also saw the Southfield RPCNA, which is quite close to where I work. I was looking at the PCA and Reformed Baptist websites too, but they don't seem to be in my area. Any suggestions, opinions, help you can give me would be gratefully accepted.


:bouncy:
 

mjbee

Puritan Board Freshman
Mary, I have been assured by my friend that dropping the "Orthodox" before "Presbyterian Church" on Sermonaudio was simply a matter of not enough space. Whew! I found a really good site about the OPC. I'm not sure how to post a link, but you can find it at
http://www.opc.org/GA
I have a bit of a problem with the WCF on the subject of the Sabbath. The General Assembly addressed this. I wish I'd had this information before I picked a fight.
I really don't think you can go too far wrong with an OPC. If you're still hesitant, pick up the phone and call the pastor, and at least visit. God will bring you home.
In His Love,
Melissa
 

wsw201

Puritan Board Senior
[quote:ff700a3f47]
Wayne, is that the Doug Wilson of the Credenda Agenda website?
[/quote:ff700a3f47]

One and the same.
 

Galahad

Puritan Board Freshman
Would you recommend any of Doug Wilson's books, and if so, at what point would you stop recommending them?
 

cupotea

Puritan Board Junior
Who?

Fred who are the pastors who hold to this Federal Vision in the United Reformed Churches (URC).
Just curious because on April 31 & May 1 Westminister theological Seminary in Ca is having a Conference concerning Covenant Theology under attack and Justification.
Robert Godfrey, Scott Clark, Michael Horton, Dr. H. Jones, Dr. Baugh will be speaking at 2 day conference.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
[quote:ee24544795][i:ee24544795]Originally posted by [email protected][/i:ee24544795]
Fred who are the pastors who hold to this Federal Vision in the United Reformed Churches (URC).
Just curious because on April 31 & May 1 Westminister theological Seminary in Ca is having a Conference concerning Covenant Theology under attack and Justification.
Robert Godfrey, Scott Clark, Michael Horton, Dr. H. Jones, Dr. Baugh will be speaking at 2 day conference. [/quote:ee24544795]

Ruben,

I don't have names for you, but I know it is a concern there, at least partly b/c Norman Shepherd is CRC and runs in Dutch circles now. You might want to send an email to David Linden - he is a URC elder that has been fighting this issue for some time. I'm guessing that Scott Clark or the others at the conference will have some insight as well.

http://www.grebeweb.com/linden/

Just a thought, but before you get a bunch of posting history, you might want to change your user name from your email address. It makes your address visible to a search by spam programs.

Blessings,
 

FrozenChosen

Puritan Board Freshman
Off the subject, but when I heard Auburn Heresy thrown around I was kind of taken off guard..."what's going on here?" I thought. Just check my location to see why.
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
[quote:8ec5b0349f][i:8ec5b0349f]Originally posted by Galahad[/i:8ec5b0349f]
Would you recommend any of Doug Wilson's books, and if so, at what point would you stop recommending them? [/quote:8ec5b0349f]

I have recommended his books on marriage in the past, and even though they are truly good works on the subject I do not recommend anything he has written any longer. I would prefer people just avoid his stuff altogether so that they do not get caught up in his confusing and ambiguous theology about the covenants, justification, and sanctification.

Phillip
 

cupotea

Puritan Board Junior
how to change user name

Fred how do i change my user name can you walk me through it? thank you
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
BTW everybody,
I am a baptist that attends Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church. However, I must confess to my ignorance that I know little of the Federal Vision.

I started attending this summer when I got back from school.

I have not read many of Doug Wilson's books but I can recommend his [i:a328b64fb2]Angels in the Architecture[/i:a328b64fb2].

I have noticed that John Frame was at the pastor's conference this January; is Frame among the NP?

I do have my reasons for attending Auburn Avenue, even if I do not agree with all of their theology. For the casual comer, he will hear little of this from Steve's sermons.
 

FrozenChosen

Puritan Board Freshman
Jacob,

From what I've read of it, the issue seems to be like:

Justification is by faith and obedience (works)

The nasty part is that the works portion can seem a lot like "by your fruits you shall know them" sanctification, so it may be hard to discern from the normal "justification by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone [i.e. works prove to others ON THIS PLANET the Christianity of another]" teachings.
 

luvroftheWord

Puritan Board Sophomore
[quote:378e74ab19][i:378e74ab19]Originally posted by Galahad[/i:378e74ab19]
Would you recommend any of Doug Wilson's books, and if so, at what point would you stop recommending them? [/quote:378e74ab19]

Yes, I recommend that you read Wilson. And particularly, if you do not read anything else, read his works on marriage and family. But he's NOT a heretic, so do not fear reading him. Unfortunately, people are [i:378e74ab19]assuming[/i:378e74ab19] Wilson is a false teacher, so they never give him a fair hear. Don't be one of those people.

And concerning the Auburn Avenue theology, there are disagreements among its proponents, and I believe Wilson is by far the most profitable because he doesn't deny cardinal Reformed doctrines (unless you get hung up on his view of paedocommunion). Barach and Wilkens speak in ways that confuse their hearers, and Schlissel is a New Perspective guy, so avoid him completely.

[Edited on 6-5-2004 by luvroftheWord]
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
From what I have heard, Wilson's [i:cf2b0bc766]Reformed is not Enough [/i:cf2b0bc766] is the flagship book of the Auburn Theology. Having not read the book I cannot vouch for its content. However, the Canon Press people seem really strong in the area of Culture and Cultural engagement, not to mention Wilson's books on the family.
 

Craig

Puritan Board Senior
At this point I find [i:5e2125172a]some[/i:5e2125172a] of what Wison says troubling. But he clearly affirms justification by Grace ALONE because of Christ alone.

I haven't seen or heard him say anything remotely close to saying he believes in justification by faith + works. What I find troubling in him is the same I find troubling with some on this board: some seem to believe infant baptism imparts some sort of grace into a baby....I'm a paedo baptist and I find that troubling!

Until I can find in Wilson's own works or sermons saying anything like what he's been accused of, I consider him to be a solid teacher and very orthodox. If we actually took what he taught about Christianity and culture seriously we'd find ourselves in a truly great society within a generation.
 
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